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All change for key government scrutiny roles

The Palace of Westminster, UK.

26 July 2017

Many of the headlines since the general election in the UK have focused on the reduced Conservative majority and the possible consequences for Brexit. Another consequence, however, is that a new parliament requires new chairs of the select committees be elected. Select committee chairs have a crucial role in scrutinising government legislation and, as such, often have great influence over policy relevant to science and industry.

The chair of each committee is allocated to differing parties on a pro rata basis but, since 2010, the chairs must be elected by all backbench MPs, meaning the candidates must win the votes of MPs from other parties as well. This change has arguably led to candidates having more experience, expertise, and independence than previously, as demonstrated by many of the new chairs for this parliament.

New chairs of relevant select committees

Science & Technology (Liberal Democrat)

Norman Lamb

Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Committee (Labour)

Rachel Reeves

Exiting the EU (Labour)

Hilary Benn

Health (Conservative)

Dr Sarah Wollaston

Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Conservative)

Neil Parish

Communities & Local Government

Clive Betts

Education (Conservative)

Robert Halfon

Treasury (Conservative)

Nicky Morgan

The election results for chairs of all remaining select committees can be found here.

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